4/30/92 for rodney king

Lucille Clifton

 
so
the body
of one black man
is rag and stone
is mud
and blood
the body of one
black man
contains no life
worth loving
so the body
of one black man
is nobody
mama
mama
mamacita
is there no value
in this skin
mama
mama
if we are nothing
why
should we spare
the neighborhood
mama
mama
who will be next and
why should we save
the pictures
 
Lucille Clifton, "4/30/92 for rodney king" from Collected Poems of Lucille Clifton. Copyright 1991 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., boaeditions.org.

Poems by This Author

blessing the boats by Lucille Clifton
may the tide
cutting greens by Lucille Clifton
curling them around
far memory by Lucille Clifton
my knees recall the pockets
here rests by Lucille Clifton
my sister Josephine
homage to my hips by Lucille Clifton
these hips are big hips.
it was a dream by Lucille Clifton
in which my greater self
jasper texas 1998 by Lucille Clifton
i am a man's head hunched in the road
miss rosie by Lucille Clifton
when I watch you
mulberry fields by Lucille Clifton
they thought the field was wasting
my dream about being white by Lucille Clifton
hey music and me only white
poem in praise of menstruation by Lucille Clifton
if there is a river
poem to my uterus by Lucille Clifton
you uterus
sisters by Lucille Clifton
me and you be sisters...
sorrows by Lucille Clifton
who would believe them winged
the earth is a living thing by Lucille Clifton
is a black shambling bear
the lost baby poem by Lucille Clifton
the time i dropped your almost body down
the lost women by Lucille Clifton
i need to know their names
to my last period by Lucille Clifton
well, girl, goodbye
wishes for sons by Lucille Clifton
i wish them cramps.
won't you celebrate with me by Lucille Clifton
won't you celebrate with me


Further Reading

Poems for Times of Turmoil
blessing the boats
by Lucille Clifton
Chaplinesque
by Hart Crane
Fifteen Years of Darkness
by Liu Xiaobo
In a Country
by Larry Levis
O Little Root of a Dream
by Paul Celan
O Me! O Life!
by Walt Whitman
Poet's Work
by Lorine Niedecker
Recession
by Sydney Lea
The Second Coming
by W. B. Yeats
The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less
by Gerard Manley Hopkins
Thing
by Rae Armantrout